James Kelly Contemporary is pleased to present At the Pale, an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Sam Reveles, an artist currently based in El Paso, Texas. This will be his first show at the gallery.
Sam Reveles: At the Pale, will open with a reception for the artist on Friday, May 18, 2012, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. The exhibition will continue until June 23.
The exhibition will consist of approximately seven new large-scale drawings on paper and two related oil and acrylic paintings on canvas. The drawings are the primary focus of the show, all made either in Ireland, or inspired by Reveles’ recent residency there. (Reveles was granted a Ballinglen Arts Foundation Artist’s Fellowship in Ireland in 2011.) In fact, many of these works are titled after small towns or communities visited during his residency.
These new drawings take Reveles’ work in an entirely new direction, specifically in that he works on multiple sheets of paper and then arranges and combines them into much larger overall compositions. To achieve this, he works each piece of paper as he would a work on canvas, in that each sheet is conceived first as a stand-alone composition, and then again as a part of the larger multi-sheet composition. These drawings range from two-part works all the way up to twelve-part combinations. This process of combining individual sheets together to create a dynamic and much larger composition is the triumph of the show.
As with his past work, Reveles continues his interest in expressive color and explosive gesture to achieve his goals. In these drawings, he uses gouache (opaque watercolor) applied in a variety of ways, ranging from watery veils of paint to bold, saturated gestures.
In describing the new work, Reveles stated he is interested in working up against the edges of each individual sheet, as he does when painting on a canvas, in effect, treating each sheet as he would when making a painting. What interests him most is the place that is defined by each sheet, the energy of that individual place and how when combined with other sheets, an overall more dynamic space emerges. When viewing these completed drawings, one is struck by the energy that is achieved at the edges of the individual sheets when joined together as a whole. This is the feeling he had when visiting Ireland, and the small towns especially, because of the centuries old walls crossing the countryside and through the towns. One was always coming upon these walls, or edges, and that was where the most energy was felt. In fact, the title of the show, At the Pale, refers to being at the wall, or the edge of something, (Pale means border or wall). Reveles has captured for us what it feels like to be at this place of energy.
Reveles has lived in London and New York and has recently returned to his hometown of El Paso, Texas. In 1987 he received his M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art and Architecture, and in 1995 Reveles was included in the prestigious Whitney Biennial Exhibition. His work is included in permanent collections of museums across the country including the Dallas Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City.